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8315Re: Hello I'm new here

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  • apx0n
    Sep 16, 2003
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      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Rodney Cecil" <wvdog61@7...>
      wrote:
      > On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 12:54:20 -0000
      > "apx0n" <apx0n@y...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > >Thanks Rodney,
      >
      > >I'm interested in Origen and Clement, especially because
      > >I've been
      > >given such confused explanations of what should be
      > >considered 'origenism' as opposed to Origen's own work
      > >and
      > >intentions. Is there a survey of his thought that you
      > >would
      > >recommend? In particular, I'm looking for a text that
      > >compares his
      > >teaching with that of his contemporaries in the
      > >Catechitical school
      > >of Alexandria, and highlights how he was influenced by
      > >Valentinianism.
      >
      > >Josh
      >
      > I became interested, if not fascinated, with Origen over 20
      > years ago and found a book by a French fellow named Henri
      > Crouzel, called "Origen", that was very interesting though
      > I'm not sure that its still in print.
      > However, at that time I didn't have a clue what Gnosticism
      > was and can't recall whether Crouzel even mentioned
      > Valentinus. I think several other books have been written
      > about Origen since then, though I haven't read any of them.
      > What I would really recommend is that you interact with the
      > writings of Clement and Origen themselves despite how time
      > consuming that would be. I think you'll find the effort to
      > be rewarding.
      > Reading Origen as opposed to writings about Origen was a
      > real eye-opener for me Josh. Like you, I had read a lot of
      > what actually amounted to accusations of what Origen
      > supposedly taught which often turned out to be different
      > from what he said (at least as his writings have come down
      > to us).
      > Only recently have I turned to Clement's works and enjoy
      > reading him as much as I ever enjoyed Origen.
      > I find it interesting to read passages from Irenaeus'
      > "Against Heresies" and compare its tone to that of Clement
      > and Origen as they dealt with the Valentinians.
      >
      > Rodney

      I'll definitely go to Origen's own writings. When I'm new to a
      literary/philosophical figure as important as an Origen, I like to
      have a good guide to the scholarship that's been done to date, like a
      bibliography. Lets me know what the range of interpretations have
      been, without me having to plow through multiple tomes. Just call it
      Ivory Tower Buffet!

      Actually, I can't wait to dig into Origen from what I've read on-line
      so far. You wouldn't believe how many people in my Church are going
      back to the old Fathers in this time of crisis. Many, myself
      included, are coming to the conclusion that the problem with the
      Catholic Church is that it tries to hard to be catholic - meaning, it
      sets out on an unrealistic mission to bring all believing Christians
      under its umbrella. The result: beautiful and powerful teachings
      like Origen's get diluted, simplified, misunderstood, and reduced to
      the drivel that passes for religious instruction in our Sunday
      schools.

      Rest assured Rodney, there are those in the orthodox faiths that have
      moved beyond the tired arguments of liberals and conservatives. Our
      culture is no longer a Christian one - it now reflects the mixed bag
      of paganism and materialism that was prevelent in Origen's own day.
      The conservative rants and raves against the change, the liberal gets
      drunk on revolutionary excess, but both through the worldliness of
      their endless debate take attention away from what actually matters -
      that some few men and women continue the traditions of Western
      spiritualism that have survived through many different times, all of
      which were more multi-cultural and multi-religious than either the
      liberal or the conservative wants to acknowledge.

      Maybe, just maybe, by reading the texts of Christians who lived in
      such a religiously diverse age as the second century, we can learn a
      little...at least, that's why you find a stodgy traditionalist like
      me, a guy who believes in 'silly things' like Virgin Births and
      Assumptions and Transubstantiation, here in a gnostic hang out
      seeking wisdom.

      Josh
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